Hayley and her Hedgehogs;Why Protecting our Wildlife Really Matters

Every green space and public garden in Weymouth boasts its own identity and character. Greenhill is manicured to perfection, a cacophony of bedding plants fill their beds, Nothe gardens enjoy stunning sea views and rugged rock paths and steps.

Here at Radipole we have our own identity that we are very proud of. Sometimes referred to as the Cinderella gardens of Weymouth, beautiful but secreted away in the town’s proverbial back kitchen means that these gardens are a quiet green oasis away from the hustle and bustle of a busy sea side resort. Not only that but we are lucky enough to run side by side with Radipole lake and its bird reserve, making this space a perfect wildlife haven. Something we are committed to improving.

Part of that involves holding a wildlife event every year in the gardens where we invite local associations and individuals to showcase what they do in our area to help nature.

Radipole gardens Nurture Nature and Welcome Wildife event 1

Running these events in our gardens means we get to meet some of the most fascinating people, many of them dedicated volunteers, who do what they do for the sheer love of  wildlife. I thought it might be nice to introduce you to one of our regular event guests and tell you a little about what they do and how we can help them and their adorable hoglets.

Hayley’s Hedgehog Rescue was founded in December of 2014 by Hayley Dent, set up to help protect and conserve the declining hedgehog population. They are run as a non-profit organisation based in Dorchester, Dorset. Not only are they committed to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sick, injured and orphaned (wild) hedgehogs but use their extensive knowledge to assist in scientific and behavioural research.

baby hedgehog

According to Hayley’s website

Hedgehogs are declining in the UK at the same rate as tigers are globally. It is estimated that a third of all hedgehogs have been lost in the past ten years alone, with less than one million remaining in the wild today (Hedgehog Street). Unless we take action now, the humble hedgehog will cease to exist. Therefore, we must all do our bit to help this beautiful, iconic species before it is too late.

baby hedgehog being hand fed

It’s a pretty full on job as Hayley admits

Aside from any medicines or treatments that a hedgehog may need, faecal testing & vet visits, there is also the daily task of hedgehog weighing, feeding, cleaning & paperwork. There is also the numerous phone calls, emails & social media messages that are received daily. Hedgehog rescue really is a 24/7 job, especially when hand-feeding hoglet’s has you up every 2 hours throughout the night and day. When possible, talks & events are organised to raise the profile of HHR & to raise much needed funds, but mostly to raise awareness about the plight of the hedgehog & how people can help them. Education is key when it comes to the conservation of a species.

The work of a hedgehog rehabilitator is far from glamorous. Hedgehogs are messy, they smell & they can even be noisy. However, they are also adorable, fascinating & they make you laugh with their quirky antics! There is no greater feeling than releasing a healthy hedgehog back into the wild where it belongs, although release is usually a bitter-sweet occasion. It is impossible not to become attached to some patients. 

Tinker the hedgehog

Hayley will be with us at our Wildlife & Wellbeing event on Saturday 4th May. She’ll be eager to chat to everyone, especially those who love these iconic creatures as a much as she does. She’ll be happy to tell you how you can help her and the hedgehogs, making sure that future generations will still be able to enjoy these charming chappies (and chapesses) in the flesh.

Hayley's Hedgehog Rescue stand

Check out Hayley’s Hedgehog Rescue  website for lots of useful information http://hayleyshedgehogrescue.weebly.com

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Hayley’s Hedgehogs even have their own wish list on Amazon making it easy to order vital items to be sent straight to them.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3F5CAHZMPXYX2?ref_=wl_share

P.S. If you’re coming along to our Wildlife event why not bring a couple of items to drop off at Hayley’s stall? They’re always after newspapers and cat food (biscuits or wet food in jelly.)

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